We don’t have snow days very often… (Cobbers are tough!) but when we do, they are cause for celebration.
The orchestra retreated to Salolampi, on Turtle River Lake near Bemidji, Minn., to study the life and perform the works of Finland’s most beloved composer, Jean Sibelius.
The retreat was centered on five aspects of Finnish life – Sibelius, Salolampi, Suomi, sauna and sisu, says Amy Tervola Hultberg, dean of the Finnish Village. Suomi is the Finnish name for Finland, sauna is a national passion and sisu is the uniquely Finnish spirit of persevering against all odds.
In Finland, Hultberg says people enjoy spending time away from their jobs by staying in rustic cabins, hiking in the woods and taking sauna baths to relax.
“It’s all about establishing a sense of balance in their lives,” says Hultberg. “I think using the Village in this way really fits from a physical and cultural perspective.”
A weekend at Salolampi, where all buildings have a distinct Finnish design, gave the orchestra time to concentrate on Sibelius’ music while experiencing typical Finnish culture and inspiration from the landscape.
“Salolampi is such an amazing place, the whole experience fits our needs perfectly,” says Foster Beyers, conductor of the orchestra.
The orchestra’s rigorous on-campus rehearsal schedule doesn’t allow much time for in-depth study of a composer’s life and work, Beyers says. But at Salolampi, the ensemble had ample time to concentrate on Sibelius and his music. The orchestra also heard a lecture on Sibelius’ career and watched a movie about his life.
“The life of the composer is found in his music,” says Beyers. “So it’s important to get together and experience the music and explore it in some depth. Being here gives us a chance to step back and do that.”
Beyers says Sibelius was a landscape composer, and much of what is in nature is reflected in his music.
“The Finnish people relate to Sibelius so well because his music is so closely connected with nature,” says Beyers. “When you walk in the woods here you’ll start to connect many of the sounds you’ll hear in his music. The sound of a branch falling is recreated by the timpani, or the sound of the wind whipping through the trees is much like the first movement of his fifth symphony.”
After two days of concentrated rehearsal on two of Sibelius’ pieces, the orchestra performed a mini concert for Language Village employees.
The orchestra performed Sibelius’ most famous work, “Finlandia,” on Feb. 2 at Concordia. They will perform his fifth symphony on Feb. 15 in Minneapolis for the Minnesota Music Educators Association Midwinter Clinic.
LeadNow’s Fuel the Fire conference heated things up Jan. 19 as students sparked their leadership potential.
Fuel the Fire is an annual conference where students learn some valuable leadership skills, as well as complete two LeadNow® sessions in one day. LeadNow is Concordia’s signature leadership program.
More than 60 Concordia alumni also attended and talked about their careers and leadership journeys since graduating from Concordia.
“It gets students engaged and help them use the leadership knowledge from the sessions and put it into their real life,” said the event’s planning intern, Kaia Lunde ’13, Cooperstown, N.D.
Kristi (Winegar) Wieser ’84, president of the National Alumni Board, kicked the day off with a keynote speech about how to ensure your career is not short lived when leading a global team. As a global program executive for IBM, Wieser gave important advice on how to become responsibly engaged in the world.
Meeting in small groups, students ate lunch with Concordia alumni who now have jobs in the students’ fields of study.
Connecting with alumni can be particularly meaningful, said Preston Johnson ’11, a creative writer at Sundog, a marketing and technology firm.
“It gets students set up to go into the job market and gives them a little bit of a taste of what their college’s alumni are doing,” he said. “I really love seeing all these students who are just getting settled to change the world.”
It also gives students an opportunity to imagine where their own career paths might lead.
“It allows students to ask questions,” Lunde said. “They learn what they can do with their major.”
Nearly 300 students participated.
Animal-assisted therapy has interested Hannah Erickson ’12, Fargo, N.D., for a long time.
It started when she watched a documentary about dolphins and children with autism several years ago. Then she volunteered at a therapeutic horseback-riding program. So when Erickson started thinking about the internship she needed to finish her exercise science degree, she Googled “dolphin-assisted therapy” to see what her options were.
The first result, Island Dolphin Care in Key Largo, Fla., had an internship tab. The site explained some of the opportunities that the interns would have. Erickson admits that after finding the program, she was so excited that she didn’t sleep much that night and went to visit her advisor first thing the next morning. Before long, she was accepted and preparing to spend eight weeks in Florida.
Island Dolphin Care offers programs for children and adults with special needs and a program for wounded veterans. The most popular program lasts for five days and clients come from all over the world. Each program involves daily dry sessions (in a classroom or art area) and water sessions. During her internship, Erickson worked side-by-side with a therapist in the classroom and with a trainer for the water session, handing toys to the dolphin and assisting with other tasks.
Picture this: a client who has trouble communicating comes from Germany to Island Dolphin Care. He climbs into the water with a therapist and a dolphin. He wants the dolphin to bring him a floating toy duck. When he succeeds at communicating this desire, he’s rewarded by the dolphin fulfilling his request, and then everybody (dolphin included) sings a song in German about ducks. Watch a video of Erickson singing the song.
The timing for the internship was tricky – she had to start in October, but still wanted to graduate in December.
“The faculty here have been unbelievable,” she says, explaining how they worked with her to fit all her required classes around the internship. “Without their flexibility, I wouldn’t have been able to have this opportunity.”
Erickson’s favorite memory of the experience is simply watching a person grow and improve throughout the program. Erickson, who is active in the National Guard, made a personal connection with one client who came for the veteran program. The improvements that he made throughout his time were incredible, she says. Watch a video of Erickson describing this client’s experience.
“You can see the difference between a Monday when they get there and a Friday when they leave,” she says. “It’s really motivating that there’s a dolphin involved because it makes them really want to try hard.”
The Lee University Festival Choir, Cleveland, Tenn., sang Clausen’s “All That Hath Life and Breath, Praise Ye the Lord” before the official swearing-in ceremonies at the U.S. Capitol.
The composition is also on “Life and Breath,” an album recorded by the Kansas City Chorale. The CD was recently nominated for three Grammy Awards.
The Kansas City Chorale was thrilled to hear the piece performed in front of a national audience.
“Congratulations to your choir on a stunning performance at the Inauguration! We especially loved the Clausen!” the chorale wrote in a tweet to Lee University.
The Grant Center, new home to the Offutt School of Business, opened its doors for classes this semester.
We’ve put together a slideshow from around the building, highlighting the state-of-the-art classroom technology, modern study spaces and streams of natural light flooding the middle of the building.
Just more than a year later, she increased her writing experience by interning (twice) at a local newspaper, writing for the arts and entertainment section of The Concordian and taking on the role of The Concordian’s editor-in-chief.
Whitney came to Concordia as a music education major, but at the end of her first year she switched to business with a marketing concentration. She chose Concordia because of the music program, but stuck around because of the environment and friendships that she had formed.
“[Concordia] was kind of always the place I knew I was going to go,” she says.
After switching majors, Whitney wanted to get involved in a campus organization that would complement what she was learning in class, and The Concordian seemed like a great fit.
When she was hired as an arts and entertainment writer, she realized she needed to learn the basics of journalism. She requested a summer internship with her hometown newspaper, the Daily News (Wahpeton, N.D.), where she wrote profiles on local businesses.
Her experience at the Daily News and The Concordian gave Whitney the confidence she needed to pursue The Concordian’s top position. She applied to be editor-in-chief her junior year – and was hired. To prepare for her new role, she went back to the Daily News for a second summer internship.
As editor-in-chief, Whitney manages an editorial staff of 10 who collaborate to put out an interesting, accurate paper each week. She and her team spend three days on final editing, layout, design and proofing before sending files to the printer.
“I love that ‘daily miracle’ feeling we get even though we’re a weekly paper,” she says. “It’s so great that we’re full-time students and are able to put a paper like we have together so often.”
Last summer, Rosie Sauvageau ’10 was still pretty new to the pageant scene. In fact, she had competed in her very first pageant just two years prior.
“I have a really good friend who was always bugging me to do pageants,” she says. “And I was like, ‘no, that’s totally your thing, and that’s great, but I can’t walk in heels.’”
Then Sauvageau learned that the Miss America Organization awards scholarship money to pageant participants and winners. This changed her tune a little bit.
“I do want to go to grad school, so I started looking at it from that standpoint,” she says. “My main reason at that time was scholarship money. And that’s a great reason to compete, and definitely a driving force.”
Sauvageau competed in Miss North Dakota twice before this year, finishing as first- and second-runner-up.
But “third time’s a charm,” she says, and in June 2012 Sauvageau was crowned Miss North Dakota and will compete in the Miss America pageant this weekend. And if you look at her crowning picture closely, you can see the glimmer of her Cobber ring, proudly displayed on her right hand.
Sauvageau’s platform is “Celebrate Diversity: One Nation, All People.” Regardless of the outcome at Miss America, she will spend the next year traveling, sharing her personal story of diversity and preaching respect for all people. Sauvageau, a singer-songwriter and pianist, hopes to achieve that through music.
“I think that people’s diverse stories are so interesting and fascinating,” she says. “Being a responsibly engaged person is something I strive to be. … So that all ties back to Concordia because it is something that I learned here.”
Although she wasn’t a music major, music played an influential role in Sauvageau’s college experience. She sang in a few ensembles, took lessons on cello and piano and participated in open mic nights, student-produced CDs and talent shows.
“Really, I don’t think I would be here, and be in this position and be as interested in these things, had I not gone to Concordia,” she says.
On Thursday, Jan. 10, Sauvageau was named preliminary talent winner for her performance of Bob Dylan’s “To Make You Feel My Love.” She will receive a $2,000 Amway scholarship.
Tune into WDAY tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 12, to see her in the nationally broadcast Miss America pageant. And yes, she plans to wear her Cobber ring.
It was a great year to be a Cobber. Watch some of the top 2012 Cobber memories through #cordmn on Instagram.
“I wanted to do something different besides the typical, ‘Let’s get together and have dinner and buy gifts that I don’t need,’” she says. “I love making people smile and I knew that helping others would be a great way to spend a birthday.”
Sampson decided to do 25 random acts of kindness on her birthday. With the help of some friends, she made a list of acts to accomplish and then documented the experience with pictures.
Some notable acts were leaving money at a bus stop and laundromat, donating toys to children at a local hospital, and bringing cookies to the police station and humane society. But Sampson’s favorite moment was giving $20 to a mother buying formula for her baby.
“The shocked look on her face was priceless. She couldn’t believe that some random girl would just walk up to her and give her money to help her and her baby,” she says. “I still remember walking away trying to keep it together as I started to tear up as well.”
Sampson, who now works as a Web producer for Microsoft Dynamics, says she tries to make an impact in someone’s life every day. Attending Concordia, she says, is part of the reason for this goal.
“Concordia really did open my eyes to a more worldly view of society and equipped me with a greater understanding and compassion for those around me,” she says. “I always try to help when I can because I know that no matter how rough my day can be, someone out there has it a lot worse and that I should instead be thankful for all that I do have.”
She shared pictures of her “25 Random Acts of Kindness” through a Facebook album and has received a lot of positive feedback through likes, comments and shares.
“The response I got from people was overwhelmingly positive,” she says. “It was honestly the best experience of my life.”